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Nasi Commando Chief Appears As Witness at Trial for Killing of Jews

December 24, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A former chief of a Nazi commando unit appeared today as a witness in a trial in Wuppertal of four former subordinates charged with mass killing of Jews, after being guaranteed safe conduct from Italy to the trial site and back.

Eberhard Kroger, whose extradition to West Germany to face war crimes charges was refused by Italian authorities on grounds that wartime mass shootings were “political offenses” under Italian law, testified that he was unable to remember anything of relevant importance. He said he remembered only one of the four defendants but that he could not say whether that defendant had taken part in the shootings.

Even when one of the defendants reminded his former Nazi chief that the shootings had in fact taken place, Kroger said this was impossible. The Wuppertal Jury insisted on hearing Kroger, a former SS general, at least as a witness. The court agreed to his request for safe conduct as well as for payment of his expenses for the round trip. After his testimony, Kroger returned to Italy as a free man.

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